Author Archives: Brenna Chen

Camping

As I write this newsletter, my mom hastily yells at me to hurry up and start packing. In just three hours, I will be out in the wilderness, detached from civilization, for almost 48 hours… In other words, I’m going camping!

As ages have passed since my last camping experience, conflicting emotions have been rushing through my head. It’s difficult to imagine having to leave my cozy haven of familiarity, which fills me with reluctance and annoyance. However, another part of me leaps in excitement, ready for a new experience and adventure.

So will I enjoy this camping experience? Although it may be hard at first to adjust to a new environment, I’m also ready for a change, an escape from the lethargic routine of summer. Hopefully this camping trip will simply be a spark to ignite my adventurism: a start to pushing out of my comfort zone this summer!

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Join a hike!

Summer is less than a week away… But what are you going to do with it? If you have a lot of free time this summer, take a break from the stress and join a Stroller Hikes hike! It’s a great way to enjoy the summer weather and experience nature – with some company as well!

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Breaking Free from Dead Week

Monta Vista is about to hit dead week – the last week before finals and one of the most dreadest weeks of the year full of cramming, studying and stress. Surrounded by people frantically scribbling notes, reading through textbooks and taking practice tests, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the pressure of dead week. I’ve even begun to see the signs: the tired looks on my friends’ faces, the worried and strained expressions of people as they rush to the library. But it’s not simply a few people; the stress somehow manages condense into an environment and surround the school and the students inside, affecting each and every one of us.

Whether it be a last chance to bring their grades up a letter grade or a struggle to maintain their borderline grade, dead week is crucial for so many students. However, what I really hate is the studymindset and stigma behind this notion. So many students regard dead week as their last opportunity, their last hope, that they pile so much pressure on themselves and almost break in the process. They view finals as a hit-or-miss opportunity, a do-or-die for that one letter grade, and therefore force themselves to cram and memorize a year’s worth of information, thinking, “I have to get this score on my final; I have to do well, or else…”

But what happens if you don’t succeed, if you hit that “or else…;” if you “miss?” Is a lower letter grade truly the end of the world, the pitfall at the edge of the cliff? Will all the colleges instantly shun you, will you friends and family stop caring about you, will the world stop revolving? Sometimes students forget that that one test grade or class grade does not mean the end of the world. One failure does not define you, and grades certainly do not (hopefully).

And they also lose the essence of learning. In their haste to cram material, students forget to understand and truly process the information and thus, they forget to learn. They value the end result so much that they forget to stop to enjoy the process. In several years, one letter grade might not matter, but the information you have learned will stick with you forever. But what do students value? What’s right in front of them, that shining letter that they perceive as the definition of their hard work, their intelligence.

I’m currently in the struggle of defeating my own mindset, as I still subconsciously continue to stick to the “A or failure” mindset. And I know it’s almost impossible to defeat the ominous cloud hanging over the school, striking stress and fear in the students’ hearts. But I move forward with stubbornness, with obstinance, with a refusal to give up. Perhaps I may never be able to see beyond this narrow mindset, never be able to shake free of these chains that shackle us to our own failure. But perhaps I will, and taking that first step has made all the difference.

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Maybe tomorrow

“Maybe tomorrow,” I think to myself as I peer out the window. “It’s too cold outside, and the weather says it will get warmer tomorrow.”

“Maybe tomorrow,” I think the next day. “It’s already 8 PM and it’s too dark outside. I might trip and hurt myself, and I can always run tomorrow.”

“Maybe tomorrow,” I think as I sit in bed, watching yet another Youtube video. “I’m just so comfortable, I can’t get up. Tomorrow, I promise.”

But when does that tomorrow ever become a today? When does this endless cycle eventually grind to a stop? When will I stop procrastinating and finally own up to my promises? Sometimes it’s so difficult to take the first step, the first act of bravery.

Today, I looked at the window, ready to make another excuse. But then I stopped myself “No. There’s no more tomorrow, just today.” And so I stepped out, ignoring the cold, the dark, the discomfort, and I took my first step.

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Annual Reports Updated!

Stroller Hikes was started in 2006 with a simple motive: a mom was eager to get outside with her baby, but not so eager to do it alone. Now, around ten years have passed, and Stroller Hikes has eventually expanded and progressed into the reputable nonprofit organization it is today.

Throughout the years Stroller Hikes has accomplished so much, with the thousands of hikes it has provided and the many, many families it has helped by offering a hike and some company. However, it’s most incredible feat is that it still remains true to its original goal: helping moms meet new people, go outside and have wonderful experiences through hiking with their children!

To learn more about the progression of Stroller Hikes, check out the annual reports for 2016 and 2015 which have just been posted! Previous annual reports are also listed below.


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